24663FWD: Odyssey Announces Winter 2014 Online Writing Classes
- Nov 14, 2013--- Original Message ---
From: "Jeanne Cavelos" <jcavelos@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 17:27:03 -0500
Subject: Odyssey Announces Winter 2014 Online Writing Classes
Hi. I thought you might be interested in our online writing classes,
described in the press release below. If you know any writers who might be
interested, I hope you'll pass the information along.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Thanks for helping to spread the word!
Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust
P.O. Box 75
Mont Vernon, NH 03057
Phone (603) 673-6234
ODYSSEY WRITING WORKSHOPS CHARITABLE TRUST
ANNOUNCES WINTER 2014 ONLINE CLASSES
Odyssey, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of helping writers improve
their work, is offering three exciting, new online courses this winter.
All Odyssey Online courses involve live online class meetings, so students
can ask questions and participate in the class. Each course is designed to
provide intensive focus on a particular aspect of fiction writing and
challenging homework assignments to help students improve their skills.
Feedback from the instructor and from classmates allows students to make
strong improvements. Each student also has an individual meeting with the
instructor. Courses provide a supportive yet challenging, energizing
atmosphere, with class size limited to fourteen students. While courses are
designed for adult writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror,
interested writers of all genres are welcome to apply.
Last winter, a total of 42 hard-working writers from the US, Canada, India,
New Zealand, Australia, and Japan, participated in Odyssey's three online
courses. One student, a lawyer and published writer from Indiana,
commented, "Although I have taken online classes and workshops before, I
have not worked so hard on class assignments since I was in college."
Odyssey instructors pack as much useful content into each course as
possible, and with our live class sessions, instructors can reach across the
miles to students, fostering energetic discussions and making strong
Odyssey's winter 2014 courses focus on key issues for writers:
Powerful Dialogue in Fantastic
Course Meets: January 2 - 30, 2014
Instructor: Jeanne Cavelos
Application Deadline: December 7, 2013
Graduates of Jeanne Cavelos's previous Odyssey Online courses have been
clamoring for her to offer a new subject, and they've also been requesting a
course on dialogue, so Odyssey is excited to offer Powerful Dialogue in
Fantastic Fiction. Dialogue is one of the major components of most works of
fiction, yet few writers give it much thought beyond trying to make it sound
realistic and trying to make each character have a distinct manner of
speaking. But a writer needs to do much more than that to create powerful
Powerful dialogue can leave readers hanging on every word. It can delight
and surprise readers. It can resonate long after the book is closed. It can
drive the story forward, reveal character, show the nuances in
relationships, develop internal or external conflict, provide a powerful
contrast with action, convey subtext, alter pace, build atmosphere, carry
cultural or educational differences, increase tension, and reveal setting
and other information. This course will help students to write layered,
powerful dialogue that accomplishes multiple goals and resonates with
readers long after they finish the story.
The Heart of the Matter:
Bringing Emotional Resonance to Your Storytelling
Course Meets: January 6 - February 3, 2014
Instructor: Barbara Ashford
Application Deadline: December 10, 2013
Barbara Ashford's online class last year was one of the most popular we've
ever had; every student who filled out an evaluation rated it "excellent"!
So we asked Barbara to teach again this year. Her new course deals with one
of the issues writers struggle with most: evoking strong emotions in the
reader. This course will offer breakthrough insights to students.
Award-winning novelist Barbara Ashford believes in storytelling that takes
readers on a journey that satisfies their hearts as well as their minds.
Readers love stories that force characters to confront their darkest fears,
expose their shameful secrets, survive their most wrenching confrontations.
But just having your character cry or laugh or scream will never get readers
to share the emotions behind those actions. It requires careful
crafting--from conception to execution--to achieve that. This course will
take you from "setting the stage"--exploring and understanding the emotions
inherent in a story idea--to "getting it on the page" by showing complex
emotions through your writing.
The Secrets of a Satisfying Short
Course Meets: January 23 - February 20, 2014
Instructor: Nancy Holder
Application Deadline: December 27, 2013
At last summer's Odyssey Writing Workshop, Nancy Holder spent a week with
students as writer-in-residence. Students were so thrilled with that
week--with the one-on-one work Nancy did with them, the critiques she
provided, and the insights they received--that we asked Nancy to teach an
online class. She's adapting and radically expanding one of her Odyssey
lectures to create The Secrets of a Satisfying Short Story.
The short story is a very demanding form, and it provides no margin for
error. Many writers don't understand the bedrock principles that make for a
successful short story. They write without a clear sense of what they want
to achieve, and without sufficiently developing the key ingredients that
will help them achieve it. This course will start by discussing Edgar Allan
Poe's criteria for a short story, which offer powerful, clarifying
principles. We'll then explore the key concepts of idea, premise, and plot,
and how to make sure you aren't writing from an idea but have made the
journey from idea to premise to plot. We'll study how the beginning of the
story leads to the surprising but inevitable end. We'll discuss why weak
endings are the most common problem among writers and how to make your
ending strong. We'll work on connecting internal and external conflicts;
developing your conflicts through cause and effect; distinguishing between
presenting and representing; identifying and remaining focused on your
story; and revising your work.
More information about Odyssey's online classes can be found here:
http://www.sff.net/odyssey/online.html or by emailing
If you've visited the Odyssey site recently, you may need to click REFRESH
on your browser to see the new content.
PLEASE NOTE: Those application deadlines are coming up soon! If you would
like to apply for more than one course, you must apply separately for each
Odyssey's Online Classes provide the tools you need to improve your writing,
along with feedback on your work that reveals whether you are successfully
using those tools. If you're ready to hear about the weaknesses in your
writing and ready to work to overcome them, you'd be welcome to apply to our
In addition, the Odyssey site, http://www.odysseyworkshop.org, offers many
resources for writers, including free podcasts, writing and publishing tips,
a writing blog, a critique service, and information about the six-week
Spend the winter taking your writing to the next level!